Premier league news Every word Hodgson said on Eze, Clyne deal, Arsenal team news and Mikel Arteta Last spor news
MetiNews.Com - A full transcript of Roy Hodgson's press conference ahead of Crystal Palace's Premier League clash against Arsenal, including Ebere Eze's punishment, a new deal for Nathaniel Clyne and team news
Breaking News ! On Eberechi Eze at QPR on Saturday - what was your reaction and how disappointing was it after Luka Milivojevic's New Year's Eve breach? Yeah, very disappointing of course. A lot of naivety on his part thinking it was ok to do those things - it obviously isn't. We're very upset about it and a bit disappointed too that he wasn't actually stopped from going. I know QPR have done very well in that respect, they've taken some responsibility. Because if we had known he planned to do that, we would have stopped that. But he's apologised, he will certainly learn a harsh lesson from it. We will have to act internally to take measures to make certain it's a lesson that he's well and truly learned. The government and the Premier League - they don't want celebrations now, shirt swapping, hugs and high fives. How realistic and important is it that those kind of things are taken out of the game right now? Well it's a very good question. The only thing is, I think it's easy for us all to agree that if they could be taken out and we could follow the protocols absolutely too, but I think when you're playing a game of football and people have ingrained habits - I still feel that whatever we say, however much we push the point, however much we labour the point: when a goal is scored, the emotion, the joy - there's a risk players will still run to each other. I think some of the other things: the handshaking, shirt swapping, that you could really say there's no excuse for. And you could also say, I suppose, that there's no excuse for celebrating a goal, but it's one thing to agree with the principles and another thing to try and stop it from happening. But I don't know what referees could do in that area, what we as coaches and managers can do more than we have been - following the protocols and principles we've been given. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now Are any of your injured players going to be available for Arsenal tomorrow, and what's the latest on Mamadou Sakho after Wolves? Yeah he's still being actually - what's the right word - analysed - maybe not the right word. We're still looking into the extent of his injury. There will be a few more MRI scans necessary before we know exactly how bad that was. But certainly it's an injury that will keep him out of the game on Thursday and even the one on the weekend. The other injured players: Jeff Schlupp everyone now knows about. And then of course we have the ones who have been injured for a period of time, ones like Hennessey, Wickham and Ferguson. But otherwise, Gary Cahill is back in training, so we're happy with that. Basically with the team we've been playing, it'll be Jeffrey Schlupp and Mamadou Sakho . Is Cahill fit to play Arsenal? Yes, yes he is. On the transfer window, Palace fans are wondering about players nearing the end of their contract possibly leaving. Dougie is dealing with it, but what can you say about players like Nathaniel Clyne? His deal is up at the end of the month, of course. Well I think Nathaniel Clyne is just about to sign a deal with us - so I think that problem, if you like, is not a problem because the negotiations have been going on and I'm lead to believe it's very close now to Nathaniel signing. So it doesn't worry me, that one. But there are a lot of players as you rightly say who are out of contract at the end of the year and as yet it doesn't seem a clear decision has been made whether or not to offer them new contracts. These are discussions which are going on behind the scenes with some intensity with Doug Freedman, the player and his agent. Read More Related Articles Crystal Palace's contract crisis as Roy Hodgson has decisions to make on 14 players Read More Related Articles Jadan Raymond reveals why he turned down Arsenal for Crystal Palace amid Leeds transfer interest Your record against Arsenal is pretty good. How confident are you about going up against them given their resurgence recently? Yeah, I think that's the point, their resurgence and the way they're playing, they're playing very well. They have a lot of very good players who are extremely dangerous in the attacking phase of the game. They're not letting many goals in either, so we're meeting them at a good time for them because they're in excellent form and they must have very, very high confidence levels. But I suppose we can take some heart and solace from the fact that the last games against them haven't gone badly, but for me they are still one of the best teams in the country. Any time you play them, you have to be ready for what they are going to throw at you, and I expect them to throw a lot at us tomorrow night. What do you put Arsenal's resurgence down to? I put it down to the fact that I never really expected them to do anything other than recover from the unfortunate start they had. You know, looking at the squad, looking at the way Mikel Arteta has been working with them, looking at the way they play, their principles, the quality of the club, their staff: I never really expected anything other than sooner or later they'd come back to being the Arsenal that we know and we expect them to be and be closer to the top of the table than the bottom of the table. So it's not a surprise. I don't think you can put it down to anything other than they have obviously continued to work very hard, they've not allowed their confidence to be totally dented by a bad run of games, and that they've always believed that this good spell of games would come. For us, it's somewhat unfortunate that we meet them in the middle of it. Read More Related Articles Unai Emery reveals Arsenal transfer instructions after Wilfried Zaha confirmed talks were held Read More Related Articles Crystal Palace clash could cost Arsenal £900k after transfer bonus is revealed Mikel Arteta spoke about you the other day, he was full of praise and said what you've done is exceptional. He also said that football management was 'like a drug you can't get out of your system'. Would you go along with that? I guess that to still be here after so many years would prove his point with a vengeance in a way, because if it was a drug that you could get out of your system, then perhaps I'd have done so long ago. But it's a good drug, and it's a drug that we've definitely chosen to take as footballers because we love the game so much and we are so passionate about what we do. You're very fortunate if you're able to do it for as long as I've been doing. It's not going to be easy for the younger managers coming through. The pressures don't get any easier over the years, the stress levels don't get any less. But as I said, I think I'm privileged and I've been very lucky to have been involved in it as long as I have been and I'm still enjoying it and hoping to continue for some while to come. A win would take you above Arsenal - what would that do to your season? Well I think to already have 22 points is somewhat comfy, but we know now to build on it we've got to get points from Arsenal and Manchester City away from home. We know how big that challenge is, how difficult that challenge is going to be, but the good thing is that we do it on the back of the 22 points that we already have, and that means to some extent that we can hopefully trust our play, trust our own form, trust the quality of players that we have to make certain we can give both of these teams a very good game. If you're able to do that and you're well prepared, in every game of football, things sometimes happen for you and sometimes against you, but you're always hoping that you're good enough to stay in the game and enable those bits of fortune that are out there to go your way. You're unbeaten in the last two Premier League games, do you feel you're coming into some sort of form in the Premier League now? Two games is a bit of a small sample, really. I don't know that I should be boasting about the fact that we're two games unbeaten. To get a run together you've got to have more than two. And of course, unfortunately for us, every time we get maybe a couple of games that we're happy with in terms of back-to-back results we find ourselves going to somewhere like Arsenal or Manchester City. We know how difficult it is going to be to keep that run going. But it's nice to have those four points in the bag. Nice, as I just said to have 22 points behind us so we know we aren't floundering at the moment, we still have reason, I believe, to be very confident that we can go to these very difficult stadia, playing against absolutely top teams, and give ourselves a chance of coming away with a result. There was pressure on Arteta.
. People turn against the manager. I think in that instance the manager needs to be strong, players also need to be strong and accept that football throws these cases up on a regular basis. But most importantly of all, the people at the top of the club need to be strong. They appointed Mikel Arteta knowing what a good coach and manager he is and will continue to be as his career continues, and that he was the right man for the job. I think it's very important that when that noise starts, people have got to be very strong and put their ear plugs in, put their headphones on and make certain they concentrate on what they know is the right thing to do - and it was pretty obvious to me early on that the right thing to do with this noise swirling around was to keep faith in the manager they worked very hard to bring to the club, to keep faith in the players, many of whom are very, very good players and to believe that this too will pass. Unfortunately, in the world of football, we're not divorced from the world in general. When things go against you, it is very important to continue believing in what you're doing, to accept the old mantra that this too will pass - it's not such a bad one to have. What do Arsenal do well? Well at the moment, they're doing everything well. They're defending well, they're not letting many goals in. But most important of all, if you look at their attacking options they have, the quality of their attacking players: you are talking about people at the highest European level. . You know, sometimes a player who is that good has a moment where things aren't quite going his way. But that doesn't last for long periods of time. So you can be sure that if they've had a barren period, they'll come back strongly and that barren period won't last. So I think that they use their playing material very well, they're organised, they play to the strengths of the team and they give the very good players the chance to show how good they are and what they can do. As an opponent, you analyse that and try to prepare your team as best you can to make certain that you aren't caught out.
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How pleased have you been with Nathaniel Clyne since his return? I've been delighted. Obviously we signed Nathan Ferguson because we only had one right-back at the club and that's been the case for quite a long period of time. That's been an enormous burden on Joel Ward as well as he's done, to be aware that if he doesn't play we don't really have the right person who can go in in his place. Nathan came to us injured and picked up another bad injury, so it was quite vital I thought for us to bring someone in who can compete with Joel and be there to play if Joel wasn't available to play. Nathaniel has done that with flying colours really, our only doubt about him anyway was how fit is he going to be, he hasn't played for a long time: is he going to be the Nathaniel Clyne that I knew playing for England and Crystal Palace knew from the time he was here? And that's exactly what's he's been so I think he's done exceptionally well and I'm delighted of course that the club have been able to see their way to negotiate a new contract. There are a number of players out of contract at the end of the season. Are you concerned that any uncertainty may have an effect on morale or performances? Well, I probably would lie if I said it's not a concern. Of course it's a concern. Everybody would like the ideal scenario where is everyone's tied up to the club for a long period of time, but it doesn't happen very often, it's not a situation that most managers would find themselves in. But you're right in pointing out that our situation is a little bit different because we have so many of these players. But I know that the chairman and Doug Freedman our sporting director are very much aware of the situation. They are working hard to try and find the right solutions when it comes to the players that are out of contract. So I just have to trust that, get on as best I can with the players who are out there every day working with me. Touch wood, so far they've been excellent. I haven't seen any suggestion of a lack of morale or a lack of motivation or a lack of interest just because a player is currently involved in contract negotiations with the hierarchy. You mentioned Eberechi Eze's punishment would be an internal matter. Do you think leaving a player out would be a suitable punishment for the 'crime' I suppose that he committed? I think it would have to be on an individual basis. If you're asking me on this occasion, do I think that the foolish thing Eberechi did merits leaving him out of the team and punishing him that way, then I don't think that what he did would merit that type of punishment. But it does merit a fine because a slap on the wrist isn't really enough. He's got to understand that we take this very seriously. We don't want any our players involved in any way or connected to breaching coronavirus rules that are being put out there which so many people are working hard to respect. So when something happens that one of our players is shown not to have respected it, even if I think he did it naively and foolishly, I don't think it was a determined gesture on his part to go out and break a rule but he did break a rule. He's been made very much aware that we take that seriously, we're not happy with him at all and the only way we can really show that is by fining him - which is something that I personally am not a big fan of over the years. Any player that has worked with me will say that I'm not one to go straight for the fines, but on this occasion, that's what I think I think this error of judgement that he's made deserves and he needs to be very certain, very cautious that he doesn't make any other errors in judgement of this type in the future because I can quite understand the public at large would take clear exception.
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How was Eze on Monday? Did he come straight in and apologise? Were you a bit disappointed that the people closest to him didn't point out that it probably wasn't the best idea? Well, good question of course. I mean, how much do you rely on people around him to point things out? Especially the people you're perhaps referring to, the ones who want him to come to the game and share the game - they're are also young, they also perhaps don't think things through as carefully as they should at times. So I don't know that I can hold my hand up and say I'm bitterly disappointed in them. But as far as Eberechi is concerned, when he realised that what he did, naively, I must point out again, certainly without any malice... When he realised what he had done, he was full of remorse, full of regret and wanted to take responsibility for it and apologise to everybody. It's not just a question of apologising to us or the club, he does need to be aware he needs to apologise to the public at large because there are so many we know that are suffering with these rules and regulations. We have to accept that in football we are judged very, very acutely if you like, in regards to all of our actions. So when you do something that is clearly wrong, you have to take responsibility and try to show it wasn't something you were intending to do in a malicious way, but something which you take responsibility for. He's done that, it's certainly given him a lot of things to think about with regards to how he is going to behave in the future. We as a club have dealt with that internally, put out a statement quite quickly afterwards and I think everything that was said in that statement sums up how I feel about the situation.
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